Hey look, Steve Bernier is back in the NHL


The New Jersey Devils have upgraded Steve Bernier’s AHL contract to a two-way deal, meaning the 26-year-old winger will be eligible to join the club.

“He’s still on the same American League contract. We switched it to the minimum NHL so he could be called up and down,” Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told The Star-Ledger. “He still has a two-way for the same $105,000 (minor league) salary. We would’ve done this a couple months ago but he broke his hand.”

Bernier had originally turned down a similar two-way deal from New Jersey after attending training camp, only to come crawling back accept an AHL contract with Albany a month later. Now with Adam Henrique (groin) and Travis Zajac (ankle) on the limp, Bernier’s journey back to the NHL could be close to complete.

And what a journey it’s been. His career began promisingly in San Jose — he had 14 goals and 27 points in 39 games as a rookie — but started to decline after being traded to Buffalo…then further declined after going to Vancouver…then bottomed out completely after being traded to Florida (the Panthers let Bernier walk after his contract expired.)

Bernier was a highly touted prospect in the first round of the 2003 NHL draft. That’s noteworthy, because the first round of the 2003 draft is considered one of the best of all time — notable selections include Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Nathan Horton, Thomas Vanek, Milan Michalek, Ryan Suter, Braydon Coburn, Dion Phaneuf, Andrei Kostitsyn, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown and Brent Seabrook.

All of whom went ahead of Bernier, taken 16th overall.

Those that went after Bernier?

Nobody important…only Ryan Getzlaf (No. 19), Brent Burns (20), Ryan Kesler (23), Mike Richards (24), Brian Boyle (26) and the reigning league MVP, Corey Perry (28).

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.